TUPELO – The Tupelo Police Athletic League will use a $30,000 grant to kick-start a new mentoring program for area youths.
The grant, awarded by National PAL, will fund the program Badges for Baseball where police officers will be paired with youths connected by a shared interest in baseball.
Badges for Baseball, created by Cal Ripken Sr., helps to purchase equipment, baseball instructors and tickets to one Atlanta Braves baseball games in the spring. The program will be for 50 children ages 9-12.
Sgt. Michael Russell, executive director of PAL, said the new program is just another way for the Tupelo Police Department to work towards its goal of bridging the gap between the children and police. Since it was created in 2006, more than 1,600 youths have gone through the PAL program.
“We are pleased to get this grant because it allows the department to provide more services for our youths,” said Russell. “Anytime we can get children interacting with officers in a positive way it’s a good thing.”
Russell said PAL is hosting its first golf tournament Sept. 9 at Big Oaks Golf Course to raise more funds for the organization. Twenty four-man teams will compete in the day-long competition. The entry fee is $200 per team and corporate sponsorship is available for $350.
There will be prizes for the top three teams. A Nissan Titan pickup truck will be given away during a hole-in-one competition as well as a new Yamaha golf cart in another.
“This tournament is just a fun way to raise funds and awareness of our program,” said Russell. “It also allows the opportunity to maybe offer an additional recreation to participants in the future.”
The deadline to sing up for the tournament is Sept. 7. For more information, call Russell at (662) 322-4514.
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal